New England Acres Civic Association

New Mayor and Abandoned Houses

Posted in: Council of S Side Orgs
New Mayor Visited the South Side But Apparently Didn't Have His Ears On.

Personally, I like the way our new Mayor talks, but life has taught me you
must watch a politician's feet to determine his true direction.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Mayor Michael B Colman pictured in The Columbus Dispatch this past March visiting the South Side of Columbus and reportedly he was not even there looking for a place to put another trash dump or jail. This may be a recent first in the South Side for a Columbus Mayor's visit. Although the area is definitely in need of some other good jobs, the kind which once
made the area greater than it is today and as great as we all would like it
to be tomorrow.

I was very proud of Darren DeBoard (who lives on Woodrow Avenue), although
I have never talked to him, for speaking up for the area residential and
absentee (not in residence) property owners to ask the Mayor about the
extreme abandoned property problem that the City of Columbus has not
adequately addressed for years. Mr. Kirk Richards' 03/29/00 Columbus
Dispatch article titled "Coleman, Teater drop differences for census" gave
the impression Darren DeBoard didn't receive an answer from the Mayor during
or even after his South Side visit. Mr. Doug Caruso's 04/26/00 Columbus
Dispatch article titled "Code-enforcement sweep part of city neighborhood initiative" did not appear to have the Mayor addressing this bigger problem either.

Abandoned properties, in the inner city, are a neighborhood security threat and usually don't generate tax revenue either. They also devalue all neighboring properties that result in less tax revenue, and of course, less revenue going to our schools. These eyesores also make it more difficult or even impossible for neighboring property owners to borrow money to fix up their properties. I realize some politicians feel when they need to take a difficult political stand they are required to have a bad guy or they must
create one. Now it looks like our new Mayor is blaming the absentee property
owner for the city housing problems. The Mayor should know an absentee
property owner is usually a voting, law abiding, taxpaying, upstanding citizen with his investment of money and time at risk in the community rather than in the stock market. An abandoned property, which can become a crack house overnight, brings down the whole neighborhood, drastically. Only people who live in or own property in the inner city, like Darren DeBoard and myself, clearly understand the true level of concern for an abandoned
property in the inner city.This is similar to only people who work at or
frequent the Court House Complex in downtown Columbus understanding the true
need for all the expensive metal detectors.

Mr. Mayor, please don't just talk the talk and pass this long-standing
abandoned properties problem on to the next administration. Don't let our city
become another New Orleans, Louisiana, with thousands of abandoned properties dragging down the older neighborhoods with no relief in sight. Have the fortitude to attack the biggest housing problem first, abandoned properties. I know it will be tough in the beginning, but you have the time remaining in your term to demonstrate it was the right thing to do by seeing it through to the end. You promised to address housing problems before your election. Please point your feet toward the biggest housing problem in Columbus today, which is abandoned houses, keep your ears on as you do it and your long term political career will reap the rewards.

Absentee (not in residence) property owner( I do not want to live near a potential crack house. )( I do not want my rental customers to continue living near one either. )

By Jerry L Saunders
  • Stock
  • jlsfs
  • Valued Neighbor
  • Westerville, Ohio
  • 2 Posts
  • Respect-O-Meter: Valued Neighbor

I was hoped Mayor Ginther would do a better job of protecting the South Side from blight / crime and providing adequate service because he promised to better protect neighborhoods as he ran for Mayor. The two derilect houses accross from South High School were torn down during the first two years of his tenure but drug houses continue to dominate whole neighborhoods. Mr Ginther needs to target drug houses on the South Side as if his children were growing up there.

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